Launching a new website to replace your outdated one is really exciting – it should be the next step in your business’s digital evolution, and representative of all the learnings you’ve taken from your previous site.
So here’s a checklist of things to make sure you’ve done before you push your new site live, to ensure it’s a smooth and glitch-free process!
1. Get your redirects in place
You’ll have a bunch of URLs from your old site’s content that will still be living out there in cyberspace. You need to set up 301 redirects for all these pages so that people who find them are automatically sent to your new site.
By setting up 301 redirects from your old pages to your new pages, any incoming links will be seemlessly passed along, and their page-rank will be passed along with them too, which is good for continued optimisation.
2. Ensuring that Google still likes you!
There are some really simple but essential things to do to make sure your new site ranks as highly as its predecessor. Make sure the following is done:
- Page titles and meta tags – these are essential in the SEO process
- Google Analytics tracking codes – are they inserted correctly, and has your Google Account started picking up on them? Use Google Tag Manager to check! Make sure that all your other tracking codes are there too (AdWords, Flurry etc.)
- Ensure your sitemap is updated and in place – Google Search Console can check this for you
- Have you got a custom 404 ‘Page not found’ message set up? If for whatever reason people find a URL from the old site that doesn’t have a 301 redirect in place, give them a 404 page that offers information on how to find the page they’re looking for
- Check and test the site across a range of browsers on desktop and mobile – Google looks favourably at sites that are mobile responsive, but sometimes elements on the desktop version need to be amended so that they render properly on mobile. Keep the search engine happy – do the checks!
3. Simple good practice
- Check that all your pages are working. Are your contact details correct? Do your forms work and are they being directed to the right people in your business? Are your response messages set up and nicely written?
- Is all your content well-written, informative, web-ready and goal-orientated? Does your navigation support clear, goal-orientated journeys?
- Are your images web resolution, tagged and named correctly to help with optimisation?
- Check your site speed – is the new site faster than the old one? It should be!
- Are you making use of HTTPS protocol? It’s more secure and your users will appreciate this!
Follow the tips above to ensure that your new website delivers even more goal conversion than your previous site – after all, that’s why you developed the new site in the first place, isn’t it!
If you need help with your website or setting up and managing your new site launch, please don't hesitate to contact us or call 01223 550800
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